Tag Archives: feminism

Obama And Biden Address The Nation About Violence Against Women

I know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But the 10th month of the year is another time for reflection on an issue that doesn’t get quite the attention it deserves: Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Frisky has been re-posting some of our past content by our contributor Judy McGuire, a domestic abuse survivor, but we were pleased to see it’s being addressed on a national level, as well.

Today at the White House, Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama made remarks about violence against women, which I’ve transcribed a bit after the jump: Keep reading »

Feminists Can Wear Spanx Too

Tracy Clark-Flory, a senior writer at Salon, wrote of anxieties running high as subjects squeezed into uncomfortable shoes and deceptive shapewear at a photo shoot for More magazine’s November 2010 feature on young feminism, which both Clark-Flory and I participated in. Her conclusion? “There isn’t much that’s feminist about a feminist photo shoot.”

The problem with fashion spreads, of course, is that they’re subject to economic considerations which contradict feminism. The publications behind these spreads work with advertisers and designers that sell garments which are unattainable in size and price range to the average woman. (My photo shoot attire, for example, cost around $1,445.) Given their limitations, it’s not surprising that they end up perpetuating a very narrow definition of beauty that doesn’t exactly embrace individuality or diversity. But while I agree with Tracy that photo shoots are rarely, if ever, feminist affairs, I think ours was far more positive than most that make the pages of glossies. And perhaps there are a few lessons that editors and women can learn from it. Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Woman’s Head Stepped On Outside Rand Paul Debate

  • A woman protesting outside of Kentucky senatorial candidate Rand Paul’s debate last night was wrestled to the ground and had her head stepped on by a Paul supporter. Lauren Valle, a protester with MoveOn.org, said she was trying to hand Paul a fake award when she was attacked. Another Rand Paul supporter has been identified by a fellow Tea Party activist as the person who held Valle to the ground while she was stepped on. I think this is how the Taliban silences dissent, too! [AP, Gawker]
  • Women’s ski jumping may be added to the Olympics’ roster for the 2014 games in Russia, Olympic officials said yesterday. Lady ski jumpers have been fighting to compete in the games for years, but the International Olympic Committee has said there weren’t enough women competitors. [New York Times]
  • This week, “Private Practice” starring Kate Walsh will begin a multi-episode story line involving a female character who is raped. Creator Shonda Rhimes told Entertainment Weekly that she was tired of shows treating sexual assault as a let’s-get-the-bad-guys plot while neglecting the victim’s story. “A lot of violence against women on television is from the point of view of law enforcement … as opposed to standing in the shoes of the actual victim and seeing how it is for them and the people around them,” she explained. The show worked with the Rape Abuse And Incest National Network on the show to handle the issue appropriately. [Women and Hollywood]

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Girl Talk: Should We Ask Victims Of Domestic Violence Why They Stayed?

domestic violence photo

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. With that in mind, we’re reposting this article from Judy McGuire which originally ran in July 2009.

Yesterday, two of the other lady blogs wrestled over the politics of asking victims of domestic violence why they stayed with their abusers. Are you a bad feminist if you ask someone—say, someone like me—why she stayed with the guy who beat the crap out of her, nearly murdered her, and raped her on a regular basis? Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Put Motherhood On Your Resume?

  • Two women are running for governor of Oklahoma. One woman is married with six children. The other woman has never married nor had kids. Interestingly, whether or not motherhood is an asset or a burden to the governorship is a hot topic for the election. What do you think? [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • Actress Sigourney Weaver said no one anticipated that Ripley, her character from the 1979 film “Alien,” would become an icon of female empowerment for women. [New York Daily News]
  • Punk icon Ari Up of The Slits passed away last week at the age of 48. According to Spin magazine, Up performed since age 14 and helped lay “the groundwork for the ’90s riot grrrl movement and inspiring everyone from Bjork and Courtney Love to Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney.” [Spin]

Keep reading »

Cheerleader Kicked Off Squad For Refusing To Cheer For Her Attacker

A Texas high school has taken “school spirit” to the extreme and kicked a cheerleader off the squad after she refused to cheer for a football player who sexually assaulted her. According to Ms. magazine, player Rakheem Jamal Bolton, 19, of Silsbee High School in Hardin County, TX, and two other males were accused of sexually assaulting a female student (identified only as H.S.) in 2008 at a post-game party. H.S. claims the three young men forced her into a room, locked the door, held her down and sexually assaulted her. Other party-goers tried to get in the room and two of the three men, including Bolton, fled through the window … Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Italian Town Considers A Miniskirt Ban

  • Castellammare di Stabia, a seaside town in Southern Italy, is considering a ban on miniskirts to “restore urban decorum and facilitate better civil co-existence.” Translation: so men will stop catcalling? Offenders in miniskirts will receive fines of $35 to $696. Oh, hi, Italy, how about the men learn some self-control and stop sexual harassment, instead of policing women’s clothes? Just a thought! [AOL]
  • Fortune magazine’s list of 40 under 40 “youthful movers and shakers” only has five women on it. Yes, only five. [Fortune]
  • Actress Gabrielle Union will host a BET special on breast cancer, “Heart of the City: Chicago’s Cancer Divide,” this Sunday. It’s part of a Breast Cancer Awareness Month lineup called “BET Goes Pink.” [Clutch Magazine]

Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Transgender Teen Not Allowed To Run For Homecoming Queen

  • Team Andy! Transgender teen Andy Moreno was denied the opportunity to run for homecoming queen by North Dallas High School because the principal said she was actually a “gay male” and disqualified Andy’s queenly run because it “wasn’t based on tradition.” Booooo. [Towleroad]
  • The Pixar movie studio has been accused of sexism after it fired its first female director in history, Brenda Chapman, from “Brave,” a film she wrote, and replaced her with a male director. Chapman had been the first woman to direct an animated film for DreamWorks in 1998 when she worked on “The Prince of Egypt.” [TheWrap.com]
  • The White House released a report on “Jobs and Economic Security for America’s Women.” [WhiteHouse.gov]

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Frisky Q&A: Gloria Feldt, Author Of “No Excuses,” On Women And Power

Growing up in rural Texas, Gloria Feldt became pregnant at age 15 in the 1950s. The birth control pill did not exist and abortion was illegal; it was a time when a wife needed her husband’s signature to open a bank account and job listings said “Wanted: Male” and “Wanted: Female.” So, she married the guy who got her pregnant and by age 20, they had three kids together. Although she loved her family, Gloria felt she had very little ability to make choices for her own life. She began working at a small Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas (and can remember a time when the birth control pill was so new that men were afraid of it and would flush their wives’ pills down the toilet!). Eventually, the kids were grown and the marriage dissolved, but Gloria rose through the ranks of Planned Parenthood, eventually becoming the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She served PPFA from 1996 to 2005, testifying before Congress and even appearing on “The O’Reilly Factor” (and coming out alive). Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Clarence Thomas’ Wife Asks Anita Hill For Sexual Harassment Apology

  • Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, Virginia Thomas, called Anita Hill and left a message on her Brandeis University answering machine asking her for an apology nearly 20 years after the two families were embroiled in a very public sexual harassment battle. In 1991, Hill testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee before Thomas’ confirmation that he had made inappropriate sexual comments to her, including describing porn films. “Good morning Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband,” the voice said. “So give it some thought. And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. O.K., have a good day.” In response, Anita Hill told The New York Times, “[Virginia Thomas] can’t ask for an apology without suggesting that I did something wrong, and that is offensive.” [New York Times]

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